Dawg Blog - Arizona

It's great to come back to a working week off a win, let the Washington Huskies have to do something they haven't done once this entire season - win back-to-back games. A loss followed by a win followed by a loss has become a maddening part of UW life lately. So how are they going to get it done against a top-15 BCS team? Below is all the information you're looking for as UW gets ready for UA.

Posted by Chris Fetters
10/20/2010
8:54 PM

Wednesday Greg Christine Quotes

On switching back and forth between center and guard - "You just have to be tuned into the details they tell you to pay attention to, all the intricacies of what the plays are and what's going on from center and guard. The good thing is they are close, they aren't too far apart. It's not like center - wide receiver, or something like that. You know what's going on, you just have to get back into the technique and learning what to do."

On the differences - "I wouldn't say it's a whole different position (from guard to center). It's definitely different, but the footwork's the same, which is great."

On the five OL that played against OSU and chemistry - "I think with everybody. I think with the whole offensive line, no matter who is in there - we have great chemistry. I think we're really close, which is huge. It makes it work on the field. We're a family. We come with our lunchpails every day together. That's just what it is."

On the changes making it tougher when they are on the road - "Obviously being on the road is a challenge, but everyone being locked onto the same thing, knowing everyone is on the same page makes it a lot easier."

On getting a win streak going - "Your guess is as good as mine. I wish I knew, I'd fix it right now, you know what I mean."

On Kohler and Porter - "They are awesome. I'm excited to see them…when will they be seniors? 2013? So when the stadium is new, I'll be back and watching those guys as seniors. I'm really excited to see them for the future."

On what they've added to the mix - "It's just awesome to get other guys. It's unfortunate to losing some guys, but also to get younger guys and have fun and messing around with them - they are freshmen and we're seniors - so it's fun."

On what his Mondays are like - "I don't really wonder. I don't play tackle, so I just lock into the guards and the center position and try to know everything I need to know about the game plan."

On starting, and then not starting - "Really, to be honest I'm so fortunate to be out here. This is my senior year, I was fortunate to be put back on scholarship again. I could be working, which would be awful. (laughs) This is living the dream for me. I'm being dead serious. I was told so many times that I wasn't going to do this, and anything in life, if you ever have the opportunity to do it - you've got to take it."

On where he might be working if he wasn't playing - "Your guess is as good as mine…shoot! I don't know."

On doing music - "I'd be doing music, but you've got to have money for music."

On doing all the shuffling along the OL - "From day one, coach Cozzetto came in and said that we had to be position flexible. If you know right guard, you've got to know left guard. If you know the guards, you've got to know some center. He came in from day one and established that right out of the gate, and everybody knows it, so it's no problem at all."

On if that's a change from the past - "Definitely. Before you kind of got tuned into one position and working that - now everybody has to be able to play more than one position."

On not getting a break with another tough DL - "If you are a competitor, that's what you want. And that's what we want. We want to play against the best players in the Pac-10, and last week it was Oregon State, and this week it's Arizona."

On their defense being the core of their team - "They are. They are really good, they are a really good defense. Really strong front. You always want to see where you sit on the bar, and when you play against great players like Elmore and Reed, you get to see what you're really made of."

On Senio Kelemete being the lone OL not changed - "We call him 'Nasty 'Nio', because he's our guy. I think he's awesome. I'm so excited to see him play next year and do his thing and hopefully onto the future for him."

On when he saw Senio's potential - "I think all of us saw it last year, sophomore year when he was playing guard, just came over from the defensive line. He was playing well, and for a first-year guy coming from the defensive line to the offensive line, it was awesome to see him develop."

On the key to communicating on the OL - "Just listening to what they tell you to do is the key. If they tell you to do this on a particular play, that's what you do. It's verbally being able to do it very quickly, that's been the key - is getting it done as fast as possible."

On that being a problem for him - "It can be, sometimes. If the defense doesn't get lined up correctly, and you're trying to identify things…I just have to get better at it."

On if that means he's at a loss for words - "No, I'm not at a loss for words - I'm just making the wrong calls, and I don't ever want to do that."

On if that means he's the Jake Locker of the offensive line - "No, not at all. Please. (laughs) I'm not that fast, I'm not that cute. Know what I mean?"

On how much center he did in a game before this year - "What, 13 in Cal (2008)? I think the coaches prepared really well for that and helped all of us get ready for it."

Because of all the shuffling, has he ever been confused by who is supposed to be playing next to him? - "No. We have a good time in the huddle, though. But I haven't done that yet, no."


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/20/2010
8:12 PM

Wednesday D'Andre Goodwin Quotes

On what it's taken to get back to where he is - "I've worked harder than I've ever worked, which has made me overcome last season, to where I am now."

On now being a factor every game - "It feels good to know that you're making a lot of plays and winning ballgames, to know you're a part of that. It just feels good helping out the team - throwing blocks, catching balls - it's just a good feeling."

On how hard it was going through last year - "It was pretty tough in the beginning, because it was something I'd never been through. As it went on, I feel like it made me a stronger player mentally. So I think it was a good experience, and I'm happy it happened last season and it's helping me this season."

On the breakthrough - "Just working hard. My roommate is Jermaine (Kearse), and we always compete. He had a great season last year, so we go back and forth on who's better, who's this, who's that…so he helped me go through that too, because we always competed in the off-season, whether it was lifting weights, running routes, catching balls - so there's a lot of things that helped me get through what I went through."

On it being vise-versa with Kearse's ups and down - "Yes. It was the same thing. He came back last week and had one of the best games you can have. Us as a unit, and the coaches - we all just help each other out and get past things that we're going through."

On any contests he has with Kearse - "We try and stay competitive. We don't really do stuff like, say who has the most yards…we count blocks. We have competitions within plays, like 'I'm going to get you on this play'. There's all sorts of different type things."

On what the most competitive thing is that they do - "Effort plays. All of us in our group, we're great receivers and we can catch the ball, but making blocks downfield and springing your running back - that takes effort, and that's what we like to compete at."

On taking pride in downfield blocking - "We do. All off-season, coach D (Dougherty) did a great job with us counting effort plays in camp and we had a board that everyone saw every time we walked in…we all just tried to have the most effort plays. We came in one day, and if I had the lead, other guys would take that personal and next practice they would try to get as many effort plays as they could to get to the top."

On the difficulty in putting together a win streak - "Just staying focused after a big win. As a team we have to realize that we won that game and it's over, and we have to concentrate on our opponent that next week. So staying focused is a big part."


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/20/2010
7:53 PM

Wednesday Joel Thomas Quotes

On if Chris Polk is undervalued by the national pundits - "I don't take any credit in what those guys say. He's of extreme value to us, and that's all that matters. We're not into that right now, we're into beating Arizona. We're judged on wins and losses, so we have to win ballgames. That stuff right now, I could give two whatevers about them. Team game."

On Jesse Callier's development - "He's come a long way. The first game he played eight to 10 plays, and now he's up to 30-some odd plays. We're trying to get as many touches for him as we possibly can, while at the same time giving Chris his touches. It's our job offensively to continue to try and be creative and find ways to get him the ball. He's done a great job as far as assignments. This last game (OSU) was his best game from an assignment standpoint. And also his technique…early in the season his technique wasn't the sharpest. I think this last week he had a 95 or 94 percent on his technique grade, which is outstanding, especially for a guy that's played six college football games."

On thinking he was going to be so versatile - "We knew he was versatile, but not like this. He does a lot, really from a playbook standpoint. But let's give him credit too. He's done a great job of preparing, getting his body in shape, and also his mind. He prepares well. It may not seem like he studies a lot, but he does. And he asks the tough questions to me. We keep each other in check too. So if he asks me questions, I make sure he has all the correct information, and he absorbs it. And that's why he's playing, because he's absorbed the information and he's retained it."

On seeing Polk's maturity - "He's been through a year of being the guy, and I think after last year, within himself he had some things he wished he could have done differently to prepare, so he learned from that experience, and that's where we're at right now. He's already been at this point of the season, through six games, having the normal nicks here and there, and understands the consistency that it takes to be a premier running back at this level. You can't make stuff up; you have to be the same guy every single day - the ability to study, the ability to understand your scheme and to trust it. He's done that. He's done a good job of being consistent. He doesn't break down when stuff may break down; he doesn't get too excited when things open up all of a sudden. He just remains consistent. I don't know of another word to describe it."

On if he's gotten to the point where he can police himself - "I try to keep him on his toes when it comes to things to get on him about, whether it's the little things when he thinks I'm not watching, or something off the field - how you carry yourself as a man or whatnot. We always try to keep on him and develop him because he's a pretty good ball player and he brings a lot of value to our offense."

On if he ever thinks about trying to tinker with Locker's running? - "Nah. I don't mess with him. He's done pretty good running on his own. It's like trying to tame a wild horse. Let him run, he knows how to run."


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/20/2010
7:31 PM

Wednesday Doug Nussmeier Quotes

Continuity on the OL - "Obviously you'd like to have five from day one and have those five play for the whole season, but we're continually looking for the right combination and the best combination for our football team."

On if last week's five is maybe the one they'll stay with - "I thought those guys played well. We grade out week to week, and we always look at our players and how they grade out. And obviously we had some young players that stepped up there. Colin Porter stopped up there and Erik Kohler stepped up. Anytime you add young players to the mix, it provides us flexibility and depth."

On Greg Christine at center - "Greg is very, very smart. He understands the offense and does a great job of communicating…really does a nice job of getting us ID's and sending us where we need to go."

On if he did that better than Drew Schaefer - "No. Drew was doing a great job at center. Drew was playing the best of probably all our linemen to date."

So why switch that? "At the time, we put the best five football players we had on the field. Drew going to right tackle, he had played tackle before and he had done a nice job out there for us. And Greg going into center was a natural position for him because of the things I just talked about. We felt like it gave us the best five people on the field in the best situation."

On the frosh getting to the point where they are locked in with their assignments - "With guys that are playing a lot…their freshman year they kind of get into camp and they are learning and it's a lot, and then they usually hit a little bit of a doldrum there and then all of a sudden it comes back to them. I think you see that it all makes sense. It's like the steep curve you take at the start, and then they get and now they are able to let their athletic ability take control, instead of having to think while they are playing."

On realizing that Jesse Callier would be that versatile for them coming out of high school - "If you looked as his high school film, he did a lot of stuff. I don't know if you really know until they get here and you put them in your system and you see what they can do. But obviously he's been a very pleasant surprise."

On the value to Keith Price getting reps during team period - "Sure. Anytime you can get a young quarterback those kind of reps…and he's taken all of our stuff, so it's good for him. If you look at our depth at quarterback, we don't have a lot of depth. We have three quarterbacks, and we feel great about all three of them. With Jake and Keith and Nick, all three of them have done a great job this season to date, and it's good for Keith to get some work and Nick to get some work in. It works well. Obviously you'd like Jake to practice, but that's football, and that's what happens when you get to the middle of the season."

On the most challenging thing about Arizona's defense - "They are really fast up front. Those two defensive ends - Reed and Elmore - are really good players, really, really good players. They are active. They get off the ball, they create a lot of problems for you, they run very, very well on the back end. They run a lot of nickel and dime packages, so they get a lot of speed out there, play a lot of man against you."

On UA being similar to ASU's defense - "A little bit. I don't know if they are as big up front as Arizona State was, but they are active. Their ends are fast, fast guys."

On what OSU was able to do against them - "Oregon State got a couple of big pass plays, did a nice job - threw for quite a few yards in that game. They just played and they executed. In the Pac-10 every week, if you go out and play well and execute, you've got a chance to win. It's a tough league. It was a tough, tough game, went down to the end."

On who is meeting Obama tomorrow - "I don't know. I'll have to ask the Secret Service that. I don't have those answers. I have to call my guy in Washington and find out (laughs)."

On Christine and going back to snapping - "He's done it before, so it's not totally new. Anytime you are changing centers, that's the first thing you're conscious of, getting the exchange. And we're in the gun a lot, doing this fly stuff…timing and all that. There's a lot of logistics with it. Obviously it's not ideal to be switching linemen, but we're going to put the best five we possibly can out there. And he did a nice job."

On the progression of the tight ends - "It's coming. Like I've said, we're doing it by committee, putting different guys in different situations, and they have to continue to grow. And we have to continue to improve in all areas of the offense."


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/20/2010
7:30 PM

Wednesday Steve Sarkisian Quotes

What's the latest with Locker? - "He's still really sore. There was something to being, last week, being able to hold him out and him feeling fresh on Saturday. It's trying to go along those same lines. But he's pretty sore. We're just trying to protect him that way."

Is it still the leg? - "It's his whole body, more than anything."

Sore from Saturday night? - "Yeah. He took some pretty good shots last game."

On if it's his shoulder? - "Yeah, well, there's more than just one. He's pretty sore."

Any danger of him missing Saturday? - "Nah, I think he'll play."

Limited - "Oh, I think he could be limited, yeah. We'll have to assess it as the game goes on. He's still a pretty good player. We'll assess it. I thought Keith had a great practice today, so we have the utmost confidence in him."

Locker's soreness popped up today? - "No, we knew all week. We knew all week. It was designed to give him today off, then we'll give him more tomorrow, for sure."

So Locker didn't do anything? - "He did a little bit. He did our pre-practice stuff, and that was all he was designed to do."

After last week, are you more confident that Jake can play without practice? "Yeah, it gives me some confidence, knowing that he got really good reps mentally, which is what he'd been doing last week. He'll get some good reps tomorrow. He's a fifth-year senior, he's got a wealth of experience, and we're not running all these brand new plays. The game plans carry over for him, so it's a little easier for him to not be out there at practice and perform well (in the game) than maybe a younger kid."

On Jake not needing practice - "It's a little bit different. He's kind of like an NFL veteran. Those guys have played so many years, they've got so much experience. It's not about him being mentally sharp. That's what your concern is when they don't practice. It's not that they aren't physically ready come Saturday; it's that they aren't mentally ready come Saturday, and they make the mental mistakes. Jake's got enough experience where he can still stay mentally sharp even though he's not getting the reps."

On the status of Devin Aguilar and Erik Kohler - "I thought Devin did some things today that continue to show me he will be available to us. I don't think he'll be 100 percent Saturday night, but I do think he'll give us enough where he can contribute. And Erik as well. I don't forsee Erik being able to play an entire football game, but I do foresee him giving us some snaps and some series in that ball game."

Will Kohler have his job back when he's fully healthy? "He'll have to earn his job. Nothing is annointed."

Will the offensive line shuffle end sometime? "Uh... maybe in a couple years (chuckles). We're just trying to find the best makeup of what guys do well and who they're next to. And to give us the best chance to be successful. When Erik comes back, the shuffle may be back on again. Or it may not be, if he can't earn his way back on the field. We're at the halfway point in the season, and there's still six games -- potentially seven games -- left to go. So I could easily foresee that thing moving around more than once before the season's over."

Is Kohler a guard or tackle? "He's both. He can do both, yeah. He's a really talented kid."

On not having a reluctance to move the OL around during the season - "That's because in training camp, if you remember, we did a lot of this. We continually moved guys around, continually gave them opportunities at multiple positions, so we would have this at our disposal when injuries occurred."

On moving the OL around --- "When we've got a group three years from now that has played together for 2-3-4 years together there is that good continuity. Right now we are just trying to put the best guys out there that give us the best chance to be successful.''

On last week's OL group - "I liked the way we took care of our edges. I thought we were stout at guard against good defensive tackles, we weren't assignment perfect but I thought we were stout. And I thought we were all on the same page for the most part with Greg making the calls.''

On Arizona's D ends - "They play really hard, one, which is a great trait to have and two they are talented. They've got good speed, power rushes, they have all of the pass rush moves, the speed rushes, the spin moves the up and unders the bull rush which makes them a tough matchup.''

On Senio Kelemete's game against OSU - "I thought he had a great game the other night, played one of his best games of the year.''

On Johri Fogerson's status - "He's out.''

On Victor Aiyewa --- "He's sore from the game. Just limited his reps again. Limited Cort some, as well.''

On knowing more about Talia Crichton's knee - "No, going to scope him Friday to get everything exactly the extent of the injury.''

On the defensive line - "They are playing harder, in my opinion. They are much more assignment sound and they are playing harder. And playing with better effort.''


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/20/2010
7:21 PM

Quick Wednesday practice notes

Locker was held out of most of practice, and Sark said he's just suffering from all-around soreness, but he'll start against UA.  Sark left open the possibility that Locker might be limited in what he could do, however.   Jake did take a shot to his left shoulder during the first overtime of the OSU game, and that could be acting up, but Sark said it was more of general soreness of his whole body.  

Victor Aiyewa and Cort Dennison were also 'sore', according to Sark, and they were held out of parts of practice.

Devin Aguilar and Erik Kohler practiced some, and Sark said they would travel and be available, but they wouldn't be counted on for significant minutes.  Johri Fogerson is definitely out of the Arizona game.

In a bit of a twist, Erik Folk was 0-3 in FG's Wednesday, while Eric Guttorp was 3-3.  But as has been the pattern for Folk, just when you think there should be cause for concern, he belts a game winner.


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/19/2010
10:01 PM

Everrette Thompson Tuesday quotes

On why he likes playing inside - "Right now I'm pretty comfortable inside; I know the scheme that coach Holt wants. Just learning the scheme helps me a lot playing inside, it helps me get away with some things even though I'm 250 (pounds). Right now I just have more experience. We have some young guys in there, like Sione (Potoae), they are pretty talented kids learning the system, but right now I probably have some more…I've been playing d-tackle a little bit longer."

On watching Hauoli Jamora and the young DE's - "He's just having fun. I'm enjoying that. He's getting better every week in practice and he's learning the system. I feel like everybody is getting a little more comfortable with each other. The young guys are starting to mix it up some. You see a little bit more rotation going in there and we're getting better as a unit."

On rather playing Matt Scott or Nick Foles - "I think there's both positives and negatives for both. But I couldn't put one thing out there that's going to be the toughest thing…obviously Matt Scott is a running quarterback and we're going to have to lock down on that because I've heard that they kind of have some ties with Nebraska. So we're probably going see a lot of similar type of run plays that the quarterback takes, and hopefully we'll play that well."

On the win-loss pattern and starting a streak - "Right now I'm not really thinking about that. I'm just trying to go off the last win and focus for this week and play hard this weekend."


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/19/2010
6:44 PM

Nick Holt Tuesday quotes

Signs that the defense is coming together - "I think we just keep playing hard, and when you do that, good things happen. They're playing hard, and I'm proud of that fact."

On the improved pass rush - "They're just working hard, and good coverage, and guys getting off blocks and playing hard and doing what they're supposed to be doing. We probably should've had a couple more sacks than we did. Alameda missed one on a blitz, the quarterback got outside on a contain, so there's a lot of things we can get better at."

On what he saw on the OSU film - "I saw great effort. But that's a trademark of what we need to be doing, quite honestly. It's what we preach, and the guys are really buying in, and they're doing what they're supposed to be doing, and they're taking pride in it. Like I told you guys before, it's a very determined group, and they're determined to be good. They're trying to do what we're coaching them to do, and I'm really proud of the guys."

On coming back after giving up 21 quick points - "We lost our composure a couple drives in the second quarter, after a turnover and then missing some tackles and things like that. We just got back to basic football in the second half and not trying too hard."

Getting fired up about team going for two - "You know, we work on that in practice and in fall camp, going for two. We work it in our 7-on-7 drills. So we're ready for all that stuff. When they decided to go for two, we're ready with our call. Quite honestly, we're ready for the third overtime, we're ready for that, and we're ready to stop them on that two-point play. We thought we had stopped them on the fourth down, but we got a penalty and we had to go again. It's a really good example of just keep clawing and scratching, and it paid off."

On Hauoli Jamora's performance surprising? - "No. He's a good player. Again, he's just got to get bigger and stronger, and he's going to be a great player for us."

On the changes with Arizona and Matt Scott - "They're still going to do what they do, but maybe cut down on the package, maybe run the ball a little bit more and maybe a little bit more quarterback runs, what they did with him last year. We're expecting for some of that stuff, but we're still practicing what they've been doing all year. That's what they're good at."

More on Jamora's improvement - "He knows his assignments a lot better than he did back in August or early in September. He's doing everything we thought he was, playing fast and just getting better at all his stuff. He's getting more comfortable out there, and as you play more snaps in games you get more confidence, the game gets slower for you. And I think it's getting a little slower for him, so I think he's playing faster."

On two-point conversion - "We know how to play some of those things, and we had the call and knew how to play it. We could have maybe been closer to the route, but we got there at the last minute and made the play. So it worked out good."

On if he thought they would run a QB draw on the 2-point play - "No. When they got into empty, I thought it was going to be something quick, like a stick route or slant or something like that. That entered our mind, draw, but we alerted our d-linemen to that."

On if it's harder playing defense in the Pac-10 because of how good all the offenses are - "I think all the conferences are really good. I respect the Pac-10, the coaching that goes on in the Pac-10, I think it's excellent. Every week you've got to bring it, because you see something new. I think all the coaches, all the kids are well-coached in the conference. They are going to play hard. It's so competitive and it's such a great conference to coach in. Every week you've got to be ready to go or you're not going to be successful. I respect all the coaches in this conference, I think they are all really good coaches."

On doing more defensively at the mid-point of the season - "I think what we're doing now is not doing as much and just getting better at our stuff. I think that's really important for our guys. I think they are feeling confident, so I'm not going to add a lot in the last couple of weeks. And we have enough, so we don't need to add any more. And if we add too much, we're not going to play it well anyway. So let's do what we do."

On when that point is when you have enough calls in - "We put the whole package in fall camp, and now we just keep reppin' it and reppin' it and reppin' it. We haven't really added anything in the last couple of weeks, quite honestly. There's a little tweak here and there, but it's something we had done in the past that the kids know. Just keep doing what we're doing."

On going to more man coverage - "We've been switching it up the last three weeks. We really have. There's a couple times where we're in man-to-man and we didn't win. You see some of the third-down losses, we're in man-to-man. It's just…we're trying to change our calls every third down so we're not in the same thing. I think it helped out this last week with their quarterback. A couple time I think he thought we were in something, and we weren't, and that made him hold the ball and we got a little extra pressure. And I think we're playing some of the other stuff a little better too."

On if that suits what they have with personnel, or if that's due to the other team - "The last couple of quarterbacks have been so good, we had to switch our looks up, quite honestly."

On loving the new Pac-12 alignment: "I think that's good, the Bay Area schools. I don't really know what's going on but the original Pac-10, the original Pac-8 or whatever it was, I really would like that. The original Pac-8 being able to play those guys.''

On Everrette Thompson: "He feels a lot more comfortable inside than outside and that's really helped us. And he's tall in there and that's really hindered sometimes the quarterback's sight and I think that's helped out in some of our pass rush, quite honestly. Maybe he hasn't gotten the sack but the quarterback feels him because he's so tall in there.''

Unique to find a smaller guy who likes it in there: "It's funny because he said 'coach, I'd rather play inside, I feel more comfortable in there than I do outside, even though he was a D-end a couple years back. So yeah, more kids like to be outside because there is less traffic and pounding but he likes it in there and he's really the last two weeks he's one guy that's really gotten better. And his Achilles I think has gotten better.

On Jamora being the next Te'o-Nesheim: "No question. I don't know if he's going to be as tall and as big as Daniel. Daniel wasn't huge but, his effort and football savvy and tenaciousness is very similar. I was only around Daniel for a year but the guy was a very special kid and I think this guy has those same qualities. Just a great motor.''

On the rush from the edge: "He had some good rushes on the edge so he provides that. And also Cameron (Elisara) played this last week and when he's healthy he's a pretty good football player, he really is. And it's good, we've got to make sure he stays healthy because we are a lot better defense when Cameron is out there.''

On depth without Crichton: "We've got to be smart, and Kalani (Aldrich) is going to have to pick up some slack for us and get some reps on Saturday night. And De'shon has been getting his reps, so those two guys are going to have to come in and do a good job when they get in there because they are going to have to play.''

On Potoe'e: "He hasn't played as much as I would like him to. I just have not put him in because Everrette has done such a good job, but he's got to play more because he's a good player, he just hasn't shown it yet. I think he had six snaps or four snaps on Saturday, if that, and he needs to play about 20 snaps in my opinion.''

On the front four playing more plays: "The other two guys don't want to come out, Everrette and Alameda we ask them 'do you need a blow' and they say 'no coach, I'm good.' But I think it's just we can't just listen to them we have to take them out and let them sit for a couple of minutes even if they don't want to.''

On his contract extension and head coaching aspirations: "I don't talk about my financial issues. ... I'm happy here and I have not, I don't have a comment on that, I haven't thought about that.''


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/19/2010
6:23 PM

Quick Tuesday practice notes

Aguilar and Kohler were working.  Fogerson was just doing some light work, but he was practicing.

Sark isn't normally available to the press on Tuesdays, but he did pass on that Talia Crichton's knee will be scoped on Friday and he's expected to be out 2-3 weeks.  Also, Jake Locker didn't participate in the team period today, but he didn't last week either and Sark confirmed that they were going to do the same thing this week.  Presumably it's to keep Jake's legs as fresh and healthy as possible for the Arizona game.

The No. 1 OL was the same as the starters for the OSU game, but the second team was a whole different alignment: Cody Habben at LT; Nick Wood at LG; Mykenna Ikehara at center; Daniel Kanczugowski at RG and Erik Kohler at RT.  Never seen Kohler work on the right side of the line before, but that has to bode well for his fitness levels.  Even if he can't go against UA, one would think he'd have enough to go against Stanford if he's practicing right now.


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/19/2010
10:35 PM

Steve Sarkisian Pac-10 Teleconference Notes

On the shifts with the OL - Very concerned about holding UA's pass rush, especially on the edge.

On Mason Foster - He's got a very high football IQ and he's talented.  He's always around the ball, and he's athletic enough to make the plays.

On preparing differently for Matt Scott - Prepare for the run stuff, the zone reads and his ability to run with the ball. They have a nice scheme that spreads you out, but they also can go into two-back runs.  Add his running to that, and it's tough.

On getting consistent - Need to focus on the task at hand.  Can't worry about next week or look back to last week.  They have a tough task ahead going to a hostile environment, where they need to finish on the fourth quarter.

On Talia - Nothing in on his MRI, doing further tests.  Encouraging, because worst-case scenario would come in right away.

On Kohler's weight - Didn't lose much weight at all, actually held his weight pretty good despite illness.

On learning how to win again - Some guys are learning how to win again, some don't know anything else but winning.  Talked so much during the off-season about finishing games because there was so much heartbreak last year.  Every game in this conference comes down to the fourth quarter, so you have to finish.

On Chris Polk - He really can break tackles, and he brings a mental toughness and attitude to the team.  Fortunate to have him.


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/19/2010
10:32 PM

Mike Stoops Pac-10 Teleconference Notes

On Matt Scott - He's doing well.  Have played him a lot during the season, but haven't had a lot of opportunities until late.  Fee very good about him.  He has to do what he does well, and not try and be like Foles.  Use his instincts.

On Foles - Everything looks good.  No setbacks.  Will know Monday what his use is for UCLA and beyond.  But he won't be playing this week.  

On having an experienced backup - It's very valuable.  Matt's attitude has been great and he's practiced well.  I'm excited to see what he can do Saturday.  He just needs to go out and do what he does well.

On trying to get over last year's pick-six and the game - It was disappointing, especially how we finished.  We had a chance to put it away a couple times, but weren't good enough to do it.  Just have to push on and get the job done this year.

On if the game plan chances with Matt Scott - Do you want me to give the game plan away?  No, it won't change all that much.

On the revenge factor - We haven't forgotten about what happened in the game, but our motivation is to compete better and play better and stay in the Pac-10 race.

On Chris Polk - He's a very physical runner, great vision and patience.  Prototypical runner.  Also goes out for passes with Callier.  He's good in space, so he's a complete back.  Does it all well.

On Foles' knee and second opinion - He has a family therapist he's comfortable with and wanted to talk to him, but the prognosis was the same and they felt good about it.

On Shaq Richardson - Certain circumstances dictate how you move on certain players.  Wanted to give him a second chance after meeting with him.  He's matured because of the UCLA situation and he's a much better person now.  I pray he stays the course because he has an incredible future ahead of him.

On Adam Grant - He's been here through a lot, been here almost as long as I have.  Great kid, great player who has worked through a lot of adversity to get where he's at.  He has a great appreciation for everything because of it, and he's a great player on the field and great person off it.

On Washington State - They are drastically different from two or three years ago.  Much more complete team - bigger, faster.  All things you'd expect from a team that has been developing their core, and they are a solid football team.

On UW and what he saw from OSU - You start with Jake Locker.  They do a great job getting him out on the edge.  Plays to his strength.  They give you a lot of deception.  Kearse is a guy you always have to be aware of, one of the premier WR's in the conference.  Offense is well-conceived, and their defense is getting better and better every game.  Foster is leading the Pac-10 in tackles.  Spent a lot of time watching them on offense, but watching their defense they appear much improved, especially how they played against OSU.


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/18/2010
7:24 PM

Nate Williams Monday Quotes

On the toughest part in dealing with a back like Jacquizz Rodgers - "He's really hard to see. He's a really quick running back and he can move around well, so when you hit him you really have to wrap up on him and wait for your help to come. So that's really the biggest thing about him."

On handling the run-pass responsibilities, especially the pass game - "I feel like we're doing alright in that area. We know that when we're up, we're up, and when you have to get back, you really have to worry about getting back and let everyone else that's up worry about the run first and you can come in late. I think once we get the grasp of that idea and get a hold of that, we'll get rid of being worried about it."

On if he thought they'd be 3-3 - "I'm happy where we are at. In the three years I've been here, we've never been 3-3 at this point. We've always been 2-4 or worse. So for the older guys I think we're happy, but we could play a lot harder. I think our record could be a little better than it is at this point, but we're happy and we know what we're capable of doing when we are playing to our best ability. As long as we execute, everything will be alright for us."

On if the energy between ASU and OSU had more to do with flu and not feeling right physically - "I think we did have much more energy this week, but we have to learn how to have that energy week-in and week-out, no matter if we're playing Oregon State, Arizona State, Wazzu or USC, we need to find a way to bring that energy level week-in and week-out, because obviously it helps. As long as we execute late into the game, like we did, and just keep on doing our one job - everything will be alright for us."

On seeing the PI call against Trufant - "I didn't see it, actually. I really couldn't see it from the angle I was at."

On having to come back on the field after you thought you won the game - "I guess it could be pretty tough, but coach always tells us when we are in meetings, he likes to have fun, but when it's time to lock it in again, he tells us to lock it in. And we just had to lock it in out there, and even though we thought we had won the game, we had to come back out and execute, which we did. Our guys made their plays when they had an opportunity to. It worked out well for us."

On Sark knowing that OSU was going to go for two - "Coach Holt knew that. When they called that time out and we were in the huddle, coach Holt was preparing us that they were about to go for two, so we kinda knew what to expect. So we went out there and executed."

On the two-point play - "I saw it hit the ground, and as soon as I saw it, everyone was running onto the field and I went running and screaming. Everyone was just running around, having fun out there."


Posted by Sabrina Squires
10/18/2010
7:07 PM

Mason Foster Monday Quotes

On the 24 hour rule after a win… "After a win, everybody is really hyped. It's been like that with my family, Cort (Dennison), a couple guys hanging out—next day coming in to watch film and trying to get better—I feel like that's the rule is, that's how we treat it, and we get ready for the next week right after. Win like that—we just got to keep getting better, working harder."

On the defense's progression… "It's something that we've talked about all through the week of practice. It really came back to us older guys having fun, instead of worrying about what's going on, and the big picture. You just want to have fun each play, and play it like it's your last.-- And for the most part we did that. If we missed a play as a group, we just want to get it done, it's not about who is getting the most tackles, or who is making the biggest plays, we just want to make the plays as a defense."

On the win, loss, win, loss… "The easiest way to analyze it—that's just the way it is. We got a tough schedule; the Pac-10 is always really tough. Week in and week out -- I think it shows how hard we practice, and how hard we play and how good our coaches are. No matter what happens, we take it upon ourselves to get better every week, win; loss, whatever keep getting better, and we're going to be successful."

Was that your best defensive effort? "Yeah. I think so. They're a great team, they're one of the better teams we've played, I feel like each team is good, they had a tough skin, a great running back; one of the best running backs in our conference. And I felt like for the most part—you know we weren't all there, we still made mistakes, but we played with great effort. We kept each other up, and we had a lot of fun out there. I feel like as a group, we had a great game. Between the safeties, corners, linebackers, d-line, everybody made big plays for us"

What was the key in getting locked in? "I just feel like certain things happen. They're a great team—they're going to get their points. You're not really going to hold—great coach, great quarterback, great running back, they're going to get their plays. It came down to digging deep and we knew if we could stop them we were going to win. And that's what it came down to, a lot of us older guys knew—this play with a sense of urgency. We just kept playing through everything and that came out being what we had to do."


Posted by Sabrina Squires
10/18/2010
7:04 PM

Nate Fellner Monday Quotes

On win loss, win loss, how do you get more consistent? "Well, now that we have our first road win against SC, I think now we know we can win on the road. Hopefully we can take that confidence with us to Tucson, and just play as a team and get it done again I guess."

On your defense… "Our defense is definitely stepping it up—we're taking it personal about some of the stuff that has been said about our defense. Hopefully we can keep improving, and keep—and be big time in big time games. Come up with big stops when we need to. And make our plays."

What kind of things that have been said that has motivated you? "Myself—motivation always come from trying to get better. But myself motivation came from—dropping picks, you know I was in a slump. My confidence was a little bit down, but I just stayed after practice sometimes, and tried to catch balls more. I got one this week, so hopefully I can keep building off that. And as our team—I think our defense just feeds off some of the nay Sayers. WE just kind of played with a chip on our shoulder I think this weekend, and we just need to keep that up."

On the pick you had…it looked more like a fair catch! "(Laughs) I was excited. It was in the air for a while. I was just making sure—when it was thrown I was like, ok this is it, I can get this one. I kind of turned into receiver mode because as a defense your taught to catch it at the highest point. But he wasn't close, so I was like I might as well just catch this one, so I caught it with two hands and looked it in."

How much offense did you play in high school? "My junior year was mostly offense. I didn't play much defense until the playoffs. There were a lot of times I had to catch the ball in high school. That's kind of what I'm going to try to think about from now on—when the ball is in the air just think like you're the receiver and just make the play. Because some of those plays, I would've made in high school, I know-- it's frustrating, but if you want to be a good player, then you got to make plays."

On the defensive collective effort… "Definitely, definitely. The D-line was playing really really hard. To point one person out, Hau'oli Jamora was playing pretty lights out, and he's a freshman. The line backing crew was playing great. I thought Vic (Aiyewa) had a great game this game. Corners played great. And I thought Nate and myself had pretty good games."

On your mindset of overtime… "I felt pretty confident. Didn't think their defense cold stop our offense. I thought if it was going to get into a shootout, I thought we had a better chance at stopping them then they had at stopping us. I was pretty confident we were going to come out with a W."

On you being active. How do you find that line of being really aggressive but still able to make a tackle? "You just got come back to fundamentals when it comes down to tackling. You have to wrap up and don't leave your feet—especially on really good backs. Jazquizz (Rodgers) — hats off to him, he's a great player. We got out of there with a victory — he's probably one of the best backs I've faced so far as a player. So, yeah, he was tough to tackle."


Posted by Sabrina Squires
10/18/2010
6:59 PM

Cort Dennison Monday Quotes

On the 24 hour rule… "Obviously we're really happy about the outcome we had in the game. We had a great team effort, but now we got to focus this week on the task at hand, and that's Arizona."

On seeing yourself on ESPN… "I mean—it was cool. That's the kind of stuff you dream about as a little kid. But we won the game, and that's all that matters though. Everybody can have their accolades, and their attention in the media. But really, all that matters is if you win the game and we were able to win the game, and I'm really proud of my teammates."

On seeing yourself on Sports Center as a kid in high school… "Yeah, everybody wants to be on Sports Center—that's like the place to be. Seeing myself is cool, but I give all of the credit to my teammates."

Do you see yourself on ESPN this next week? "I hope we all have Sports Center moments. I hope we all envision that. That's what you want when you're a competitor -- you want to win games, that's everybody goal."

On being the most collective effort defensively… "Yeah, I thought so. When you have a player like Jacquizz (Rodgers) obviously—he's going to be really hard to slow down, he does so many things well. You cant' contain a player like that for a whole game, he's going to have his players here and there, that's just what good players do. But I though out tackling was better, I thought we limited the big plays, and I think we really did try and put everything together for a whole four quarters. I'm really proud of the guys."

Did you feel like you really had to lock down in the 3rd quarter when they started scoring? "I just think we stuck to our game plan. Big times got hard, and our coaches kept preaching to us. We've stopped them once there, so why couldn't we do it again? We have the talent to do it. We just dug down deep and believed in each other. Coach Sark was preaching the whole week about how if you are back in a corner you need to do is fight, and I thought we fought. And we did a good job at it. Things will get hard, but the good teams are the teams that will come out and throw punches back, and try and fight back- and I think that is what we did."

On last year's AZ game and preparing for this one…"I mean—obviously last year's win, was one of the more memorable wins in my UW career. But you can't worry about last year. It was a fun game last year, but this year is this year. And they're a different team and we're a different team. They got a bunch of great players, and we got to be able to go in there ready, mentally and physically, and it's going to be a great game. All four quarters."

Do you feel like this is where you thought you would be—midway through the season? "I mean we've had some highs and lows, we've had some disappointments here and there. Obviously you don't like losing games, and we've lost 3, but I'm really proud of the effort our guy's have put forth. Every game—we may have lost some games, but we played hard in all those games, and we competed. As long as you compete, you always have a chance to win."

Why have things kind of gone, loss win, loss win? "I mean obviously it's hard when you're high one week and low the next week. But that's the kind of thing you are going to get in the Pac-10 conference, every team is so good. There is no weak team, every team has so many good players on it, so that's the kind of give and take thing you get in the Pac-10."


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/18/2010
5:30 PM

Complete Sark Show Notes - UA

Gas talked about the 'thriller'.  UW bolts out to 21-0, then OSU comes back, then a defensive struggle, and then OT.  Bob said he's day-to-day with strained vocal cords and the UW fans got their money's worth.  Said it had a little bit of everything.  

Bob also pointed out that in the 90's there was a game that ended up the same way and the same score, and he also brought up the great 2000 game, when UW won 33-30 and it was OSU's only loss of the season.  Bob said that the calls that night from callers were a lot different than he thought they would be after a win - Rick sucks, team sucks, etc... and he said to wait and see how things worked out.

Sark showed up and Bob talked about how before during the season it was a hope the defense would just keep them in the games, but now it was the defense actually stepping up and making plays to determine the outcome of the game.  Sark agreed.  Said the turnovers were huge, especially Sean Parker's pick in the end zone.  He said that the defense has played very well the last six quarters, well enough to win two games.

Gas said the D did a nice job of containing OSU - especially on the big plays, and Sark said they did a nice job of that.  They did give up the one pick for a short field, but other than that they did a good job.

Gas asked Sark about the team having to regain their composure after the PI called.  Sark said it's to the defense's credit to lock in, not worry about the last play or the next play and just deal with that snap right in front of them.  

Bob asked if Sark was concerned about the empty backfield on the 2-pt conversion, and Sark said that he knew there was a run-pass option in there somewhere, and Cort had to cover the QB draw, as well as the middle of the end zone.  Holt felt good about their call, OSU felt good about their call, and they went after it.  He said Jacquizz Rodgers was out in a route, and they doubled him.

Bob talked about how many 2-point plays they practice, and Sark said they have a handful during fall camp they use, and they might add one here and there during the season.  

Bob asked if Sark was on the road, would he do the same thing - and Sark said he wouldn't tip his hand, but would say that it was a sound decision by Mike Riley.  He talked about how he and Lane Kiffin were watching the Sun Bowl game and Riley did the same thing.

Gas asked if he would ever think about going for two at home - and Sark said never.  Said they would utilize the home crowd advantage, and after two times you have to go after two anyway.  He also said he really likes the OT format the way it is. Gas talked about something that got overlooked during the game.  The last drive of the first half - no points - but they pin OSU deep with a Kiel Rasp punt.  Sark said he wanted to make sure they didn't have the ball with any sort of field position then, because they were hot.

Bob talked about how UW played so well offensively the first part of the game, but then ran into some difficulties - Sark said that when you go four drives like that, especially with young players, there might be a tendency to relax, when they really should be putting the pedal to the metal.  And playing at home, you can't have four false starts.  Those type of mistakes can cost you.

Bob asked if the false starts could have been on the new OL grouping, and Sark said no.  Two were on James Johnson and two were on Kanczugowski, who was actually an extra TE.

Bob talked about the crowd and how they were going crazy, and Sark said that he had a lot of fun with it and really enjoyed the atmosphere.

Bob talked about how Jake Locker played a 'man's game', and Sark said he put his head right in there when he had to, tucked it and ran, knowing he would get hit and got some key first downs.  Also the WR's had a great game - Kearse, Goodwin, Polk, Bruns.

Email - how do you practice for a guy like Rodgers?  Sark said he told Quzz after the game that he should go pro.  He said that he put Callier in there more inside during the week to give the interior guys more work going up against a guy like Quizz.  Sark said you can get fooled with his height, because he's so strong.

Bob said OSU averaged 3.3 ypc and UW 4.4 ypc.  Sark said that Chris Polk brought his hard hat again to work, and they relied on him even a little big more than normal, and he came through. Call of the game - the two-point missed conversion for OSU.

Sark remarked how crazy the crowd was in the background of that play.

Bob asked him about the PI call.  Sark said he wouldn't tell Trufant to do anything different.

Gas said Sark's body language after that play was that he was ready for the next play.  Sark said it doesn't help to yell at the refs, because that doesn't change the call.  And he also wanted to show his team that he was calm and in control and ready for the next play.

Brandon on phone -  He asked why the coaches are afraid to play press coverage.  Sark said it comes down to confidence.  He said they are playing some, but one of the keys to beating OSU was eliminating the big play and keeping things in front of them.  Sark said there are advantaged to playing press, but you risk getting beat over the top.  They wish they could do it all the time, but they aren't there yet.

Bob said is there anything harder to be a cover corner, and Sark said you have to have the mental makeup and utmost confidence.  Like Deion Sanders, Revis, etc... they don't even remember the last play - good or bad.  

Bob said why don't you go out and recruit those guys, and Sark said it's really hard to find them - like a great 3-technique - and if they are out there, everyone is on them.  He said it's easier to find a good looking kid that has the attributes you want and can be developed.

Bob wanted a clarification on 3-technique, and he brought up Stephen Paea for OSU, and how good he was in disrupting everything in the middle.  Bob said UW had a pretty good 3-technique back in the day and Sark said 'Yeah, Steve Emtman'.

Jimmy in Seattle - Applauded Sark for his gameplan.  Asked about the replay on the third-and-10 when Jake was ruled to get a first down, but it was reviewed.  Sark said he thought they had it too.  Difficult to review.  Got to be where the ball is when his knee goes down.  He wasn't going to risk sneaking it, so they punted the ball.

Bob said that kind of play is one where it looks a lot different in slow motion.  In real time you can't see it.  Sark said that most of the time those take place along the goal line.  Gas asked how much communication goes between the sideline and the box during plays like that. Sark said he wants as much information as he can get, and there's no TV in the box, so a lot of the time the sideline has a better view.  So they'll go with what they saw or they'll look at the replays on the Jumbotron before going any further. Gas talked about fans wanting to see more from the defense.  How would Sark assess the defense?  Sark said they are starting to believe, and they are playing faster as a result.  They are getting better too, especially the younger players - like Jamora and Parker.  

Gas said, speaking of criticism, Jermaine Kearse came back big.  Sark called him the MVP of the game.  First TD catch was a heck of a grab.  To deal with what he was dealing with, it was tremendous.

Gas asked about Erik Folk, Sark said that he dealt with him just like he dealt with Kearse - you miss one, you drop one, you come back and get the next one.  Lot of confidence in both.

Bob asked about Colin Porter - Sark said he did well, and he was far from perfect but to use two true frosh this year along the line is remarkable, and a testament to coach Cozzetto.

Bob asked about Erik Kohler, and Sark said he did practice today, but it was light and they will not push him hard.

Bob said that it was hard to not notice Porter in fall camp, because of his size - Sark said they needed more size, and he's stepped up and done a great job.

Bob brought up Hauoli Jamora on the other side, and Sark said that he's done a great job and if Talia Crichton can't go against Arizona, he'd be the one to step in and get the job done.  

On Crichton - Sark said he's got an MRI coming, but don't know the extent of the injury.

Mike on the phone - said the PI call was a ticky-tack foul.  Asked if the Pac-10 sends Sark a letter explaining why they get called the way they do.  Sark said they can use a process where they can submit inquiries to the officials and they can get responses back.   He added how Larry Scott has been on top of that and is doing a good job facilitating communication to the Pac-10 officials.

Gas mentioned how Larry Scott was in Husky Stadium Saturday night, and Sark remarked how he though Scott got a good look at how good Husky Stadium can be and what a great game that was. Gas said the obvious question is - how to you get back-to-back wins.  Sark said if he knew that, he'd be going across the country, selling it to coaches.  He said that they knew that the OSU game was a championship-type game, and this next one is the same thing.  Have to focus just on this game, and not the game before or after.

Gas said that you could argue that the defense has played 12 pretty good quarters in the Pac-10, and Sark said they'll need to play great against Arizona.  He said that offensively, Elmore and Reed will put pressure as UA's DE's, but he feels good about the game.

Bob talked about last year's game and the bubble screens - how will that change with Matt Scott?  Sark said he expects UA to keep throwing those screens until UW stops them.  But Scott does run a little more.  He doesn't think Scott is as good a thrower as Nick Foles, but he can still have success running and throwing.

Bob asked how much they can take from the UA-WSU game, and Sark said the key to playing a team where their QB is making his first start - you have to pressure them and get after them.  WSU had five sacks, and UW will have another aggressive gameplan to disrupt Scott like they disrupted Ryan Katz.

Gas talked about going back on the road, and Sark said they know now what it takes to win on the road, to rally together and rely on each other to get the job done, so that's what they'll do in getting ready for this game. This game won't be any different than any other road game this year. A look back to a great play from the 2009 season - the Mason Foster pick-six against the 'Cats 

Gas - it was Rondeau's version of the immaculate reception.  You talk about the Miracle in the Desert - that was the Miracle at Montlake.  Sark said that was a fitting tribute to Mason Foster and everything he does for the team.  Said they must like to keep it exciting.

Gas said if you picked one guy on the defense to be around in the right place at the right time, and Foster is that guy.  Sark agreed

Bob talked about how UA is getting to the gauntlet part of their schedule too, and Sark said that's the Pac-10 and everyone better get used to it. That's how good the conference is.  Your ability to go on the road and finish games in the fourth quarter will spell the difference.

Bob said that even without Foles, UA has a lot of weapons - like Criner and Antolin.  Sark said that Antolln runs big even though he's not a big guy and he gets it going in the open field.

Bob talked about the DE's, especially Reed with his hair coming out of his helmet, and Sark said if there's one key for the team from an offensive point of view, it's containing UA's DE's.  

Bob and Gas wished Sark well, told him to get it done in regulation this time, and Sark said the nice thing about the game is that once again it's going to be on national television.


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/18/2010
2:45 PM

Jake Locker Monday Press Conference Notes

On coach Sarkisian's comment about UA's DE's being the biggest challenge for UW - "Yeah, they're really talented. They're athletic, strong, physical guys. We're going to have make sure that we've always got guys on them and helping keep that edge secure. They're very talented players. I think that controlling them in the run and pass game is going to be very important for us."

On Arizona's defense - "Like I said. They're really talented upfront. They've got a lot of team speed. They do a good job in the secondary making plays with guys who run really well. Like always, it's going to be important for us to make sure we have a good week of practice and really understand our game plan and going and execute to the best of our ability. They're a really good defense. A good football team. We're going to have to play well."

On his quad injury - "I feel good. My leg felt great during the game. It feels good today. I feel really good."

On when it started feeling better - "It didn't feel awful all week. I think having a little less reps throughout the course of the week helps definitely. And then Thursday and Friday were kind of light. I had a long day Saturday as well to kind of just hang out and get some treatment on it and get some of the swelling out. It looked and felt great on Saturday.

Sark said he wanted to test you running with the first play - "It worked. We got a big play off it. So. Yeah."

On how his game is different when he can roll out - "When we're able to get outside the pocket and put pressure on the defense, it's an advantage for us. It creates some matchups problems I think just because you've got to be conscious of both the run and pass at that point. When we're able to run the ball effectively, it sets up those types of plays. I thought the way our running game was able to kind of get going this Saturday really benefitted our passing game."

On it being a luxury having a guy like Chris Polk - "It's awesome. With a guy like him, even if it's not always blocked right, and there's not always a hole, he's a very physical, very tough runner. He finds ways to get those extra two or three yards. He takes a big hit and it seems like he just spins off of it and he gets five or six more. It's fun to watch him run. It really is."

On Polk maturing - "He's always been a very confident player. He's growing up and getting a little bit older and understanding where he kind of fits in within this offense. How he can really help this football team, not only running the football but he's really made great improvements in the passing game and blocking. He knows what he's doing every time he's in there and he's really physical in the blocking game. He comes up and will stud up on anybody. I think that's what makes running backs special. He's spent a lot of time working on that stuff and it shows on the field."

On the mentality of team - "I don't know if we're any different. I thought we had a great week at practice last week. For one reason or another, we didn't come last Saturday and play like we wanted to, but I thought the guys came back and we had a really, really good week at practice last week, and it was the reason we were able to come out with the win at the end. It wasn't perfect Saturday; we still left a lot of things out there, in my opinion, especially on offense. Like I said after the game, our defense gave us a chance to win at the end. They kept us in there. I tip my hat to them.

What happened when you went ahead 21-0 but not being able to score the rest of the game - "After watching the film, it was what I thought. We just had some assignment errors and kind of broke down mentally a quarter, quarter-and-a-half there. We just weren't able to execute. We moved the ball. But then the same things that have been biting us got us again, the penalties, especially when we got down into the red zone and on the other side of the 50. There are things we need to clean up."

On finding the balance between running out of the pocket and staying in the pocket to let routes develop - "Watching the film, I had a couple opportunities that I got out of there a little too early and had a couple guys downfield that I thought we could have made a couple plays on. But we had an opportunity where I could have stepped up in the pocket and get the ball downfield to our receivers in the secondary. I thought our line did a great job of creating the pocket all day Saturday and giving me the opportunity to push up in there and find those guys downfield. I think when you're able to do that, that's when your passing game's successful. The longer you give receivers time to work, the more they're going to find themselves open. And I think that having the ability to push up and move around in the pocket allows those guys to work. I think we've got a pretty good receiving corps. Those guys find a way to get open and get the ball in their hands."

On being more consistent - "Um, I think that what we did really well Saturday was focus on ourselves, focus on what we can control, the way we played and approached the game. I think that's what we need to do this week, have confidence in the game and what we're doing, believe in each other and go out and play fast and have fun doing it. If we're able to do that, the consistency will come.

On his feelings now at the half-way point in the season - "I think a lot of things I still need to work on, get better at. There have been some good things, but you're always looking to get better. And taking out some mental errors is probably something that I'm going to be focusing on the second half of the season here. Doing my best just to give our team to have the best opportunity every play to have success. I think by really honing in on our game plan and our play calls, I'll really be able to do that.

On mental errors - "Yeah, even in the run game, running certain plays. We had checked to certain looks. It's just really being locked in on that stuff and being really sound, week in and week out, with that."

Last year's game vs. Arizona - "It was a crazy one, probably one of the craziest one's I've been a part of. we've had some pretty wild one's over the last couple of years. It was a game, I think it was a big win for this football team from the aspect of I think it was three and half minutes left and we were down 14 points and everyone kept playing. there wasn't a sense that there is no way we can win this game. the ball bounced our way and we found a way to win that football game. I think that was a big turning point for us last year as a football team and moving the program forward. A big win for us.

On the resiliency of this team - "I think the biggest thing for us is when we go back and look at the film we understand that it wasn't the outcome we wanted but at the same time you look at the film and it's just a few things here and there that kept us from putting up a better fight in those games and having a real opportunity to win. I think the guys have done a really good job of taking that in and understanding that and going out the next week of practice and really applying that on the field. I think that's where we were able to improve from week to week and put those games behind us and move on."

On significant changes on the offensive line and how difficult it is to work those changes in week after week - "It can be difficult at times, but I thought those guys did a good job getting comfortable and familiar with each other and figuring out how they work together. I thought they did a great job Saturday, played well, played physical in the run and pass game."

On Colin Porter - "Colin is a really big body for us a really physical body for us and a kid I thought did a great job not letting the situation be too big for him on Saturday. That can be an intimidating game to come in your first start as a true freshman, coming into a game of that importance for us and then to have it go the way it did, it would have been really easy for him to lose it and make assignment errors all over the field, but i thought he did a really good job on staying focused on his job each and every play and playing hard, playing physical. I was really proud of the way he played."

On the impact of the true freshman being called on - "They're a really confident group, they have confidence in themselves and their abilities and it shows on Saturday's. They come out and they understand where they fit in our game plan and within the scheme of each week and when they get their opportunities they take advantage of them."


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/18/2010
2:28 PM

Steve Sarkisian Monday Press Conference Notes

Sark Opening - "Well it's time to get back on the horse. We said it after the Arizona State game, after a loss, we're saying it after the Oregon State game, after a win. We enjoyed it, it's a nice win for us. I thought we showed some real resiliency there, especially at the end of the ball game…a credit to our defensive players to get refocused for the last snap and not dwell on the play before when the pass interference was called. Whether (Joe Halahuni) dropped it, or Cort (Dennison) got a hand on it or Cort caused him to drop it, I'm not sure. The ball hit the ground and we won. It was a nice win for us, I think a much-needed win…but time to move on."

On Arizona with Matt Scott instead of Nick Foles - "We've got to be a little more prepared for the zone read stuff that Matt's able to do, but at the end of the day they are going to run their plays. They are going to use Antolin and Grigsby to run the ball and they are going to get the ball to Criner and those other wide outs…we have to prepare for their schemes."

On movement along the OL - "We're just trying to give our football team the best opportunity to be successful. Drew Schaefer at right tackle provides a little more stability, a little more athleticism out there to handle some of these rush ends that we're faced with. I felt like we needed to be bigger at guard, especially with Kohler out, so that's why Porter's moved in at guard, with Tolar on the other side. And Greg Christine's a bright guy, and he can get us blocking the right people at the right time, so that's why he's in at center."

On Kohler coming back from mono - "We don't know yet. It's going to be a day-to-day thing. They monitor how much he can to, and to what extent, and so he's on the depth chart - but I don't know yet, to be honest with you."

On Talia Crichton's condition and MRI - "We'll get the results this evening…I'll fill you guys in as soon as I know."

On the health of the team after OSU - "I thought we did OK. We got beat up a little bit…bumps and bruises…that was a physical ball game. Oregon State is a physical team. We're a little banged up, but nothing serious. We should be OK."

On what it would take to get injured players back for Arizona - "They need to practice. I'm not a big believer in you don't practice but you can go out and play well. So they need to practice. So Devin, Johri, Erik Kohler - they need to practice if they want to play Saturday."

On close losses and learning to win - "We just hammered home the thought process of finish, and finishing. Not about just making a great play, it's about being attentive to your details, knowing your assignments, not making things up or trying too hard…just doing your job and focusing on the task at hand on that snap…not about what's occurred all game long, not about what might occur if I do or don't make this play…just play the snap and we'll focus on the next one.

On breaking through with winning a tight game - "I think it's huge, especially at SC on the road, from the psyche perspective of going on the road, coming from behind was big. And then to beat a team that's beaten you six years in a row, and who probably handily beat us the worst last year when you look at all our losses - I thought that Oregon State really physically beat us up last year - for our kids to respond that way and then finish the way we did, I was very proud of them.

On the win-loss-win-loss pattern - "Obviously we've analyzed it and looked at it and trying to find out why…I don't think it's because our guys think they are the greatest thing ever, and now we can relax and we can go and beat whoever…I don't think that's the mindset at all. Sometimes maybe we put a little too much pressure on ourselves, like 'OK, we won - now we can go win two in a row'. Let's just go play, forget what just happened last week and what might occur if we win or don't win - let's go play the game, and play with great effort and great energy and passion and see what happens. If we win, great. If we don't, it's back to the drawing board. But let's not worry about consequences; let's lock in and go play. Hopefully we can break that trend this week. It's obviously a tough assignment going to Tucson, but all we want to do is put our best foot forward."

On Jake running vs. OSU: "I had a good feeling going in that he could, but it was a real rhyme and reason to why we got him on the edge right away. I wanted to see what it looked like. I didn't want to have to wait into the game to see if he could do that or not, so the first play of the game, we had him on the edge."

On Hauoli Jamora: "Real effort guy. He exudes effort. I don't know if he's the most talented kid, but he plays extremely hard. He provides quickness for us. And he's a great kid. If you get around him, he's humble, he's respectful and he works at the game. He loves to play the game."

More on Jamora: "He plays the game the way the way you want it to be played – with tremendous effort, with passion. He's not always right; he's still a true freshman. He makes his mistakes. But he plays the game you want it to be played, and I think we're continually trying to get that across to our football team and finding the guys that can play, spotlighting them and putting them out there. Haoli is definitely one of them."

On thinking of Jamora as an early impact player: "Yeah, we really did coming in, that he could be one of those guys that really could contribute. He's getting his time now."

On the Class of 2010: "I've been really impressed with Jesse Callier, he does a lot of things for us. The linemen. Wish we had Coop (Deontae Cooper), but we don't unfortunately. I like our freshmen group."

On the defense locking back in after giving up 21: "I think we're growing, I think they're growing. I think they're believing in what's being called, and they're playing faster. Credit to our seniors for getting that done."

On going 3-3 the first half of the season: "We're a resilient group, that's for sure. I think this team could have easily cashed it in at any point after one of those three losses, and they haven't. So, if I could put one word on the first half – resilient. Hopefully we have a couple better words for the second half."

On getting the team refocused before 2-point try: "I had a feeling they would go for it. I come to find out it was the Sun Bowl where (Mike Riley) he went for 2 at the end of the game. Just history, just a hunch, I guess. … When he was going for it, I just wanted to make sure potentially we had a timeout, if we didn't get lined up the way we wanted to, we were going to use a timeout to make sure we were lined up. Nick liked what we were in, and they ran the play."

On the PI call on Trufant: "I thought it was a nice play by Tru. It was unfortunate."

On the 60 seconds in between PI and 2-pt conversion: "It's a tribute to our kids to get refocused again. Although they gave up the run – we were a little discombobulated there, we lined up wrong and gave up an easy touchdown – but then locked back in for the two-point play."

What was it like to celebrate a win twice? - "No. It's kind of fun, though. You get to plan your celebration for the second one because if you didn't like the first one you can change it for the second one.''

Is this upcoming game the biggest game of the year, or just the next game on the schedule? - "We're taking the approach that it's this game that matters. There is a real sense of urgency in our locker room right now. And we are going to prepare well this week and we are going to play hard. If that's good enough to win, I don't know that. But we are going to play hard. There is a real sense of urgency in our locker room that I think they are understanding what it takes. Winning is hard and it takes a real group effort to get it accomplished.''

On wondering if Jermaine Kearse was going to bounce back? - "I wasn't as concerned about it. We addressed it with him, he's a great kid, he's got a tremendous work ethic. He came right back and caught nine balls, so we are going to keep throwing it to him.''

On Chris Polk's game - "That was a blue collar day for old No. 1. A typical Chris Polk day, yards after contact, pounding the football when we needed him to. He's a Warrior, that's for sure.''

Does he get more amped up to go against guys like Jacquizz Rodgers? "No. He's been playing consistently. He's probably been our most consistent guy all year. He's matured quite a bit since last year. He practices well and just locks in and goes.''

On being concerned scoring 21 points right away and then not being able to score the rest of regulation - "That happens. I think you can relax a little bit and then you jump offsides four times and then you have second and longs and third and longs and it gets hard. You can make it hard on yourself, never mind what they are doing. But that's typical of teams when they start, it's that good, it's that easy, you can lose your edge in a sense and step back. So we've got to do a better job of trying to keep them locked in. I was watching the USC game Saturday and they score 42 points in the first half and then in the second half they can barely get a field goal. It just happens, it's human nature, that's why we coach to try to fight that.''

Has Polk matured? - "I think just his attention to detail. He's matured in all phases of his life not only on the football field but in the class room and his personal world and so all in all it's making him a better player.''

On Arizona's kick return game being very good - "We'll keep working on it. We practice it al ot. Just got to continue to fit. Unfortunately we got out of a lane again twice last week andn boom, it seems every time we do it they are right there. So we will continue to work it. It's been a huge point of emphasis for us and has been now for two months and we've just got to keep working at it.''

Who played well on defense - "Mason, he's ridiculous. I looked at the stat sheet (handy things, I should have noticed those earlier in my career), he's got 72 tackles halfway through the season, he's on pace for 150 tackles in a year, it's ridiculous. So he's playing great. Nate Williams had a fantastic game. I thought Victor Aiyewa had some nice stops. And then a guy who can go unnoticed, Alameda Ta'amu had a nice ball game. ''

Was it Ta'amu's best game? - "I don't know that, making that comparison now. I like when he plays like that, he is able to control the middle, especially in the pass rush ability that he has to get one-on-one matchups for him he's really going. He's a load in there.''

On the upcoming schedule - "We play really good teams. Every opponent is good. No point in trying to build one up and not another one. These guys are good, Oregon State was good, Arizona State was good, USC was good, Nebraska was good. Everybody is good nowadays I guess. Doesn't matter helmet they got on, just get ready to play well and play hard.''

On using more man coverage lately? - "Yeah, we're trying to. We want to. Part of that is the confidence of guys playing man-to-man coverage. I thought that Tru and Q had a nice ball game. I thought Nate Williams, Sean Parker, those guys did nice jobs in their man-coverage stuff to allow us to get to the quarterback."

On that being the best defensive effort all year? - "Yes, yeah. I thought they played really fast. You know, unfortunately we missed some tackles, but that guy is hard to tackle. But I thought all in all, we played well."

On UA's offense being similar than what they've seen, especially the read-zone - "Um... it will probably be similar to what our guys see in every day in practice. It's not the most exotic stuff, but you better account for the quarterback, because he will pull the ball and he can run."

On the energy level between the ASU game and the OSU game - "Oh, it was tremendous. Night-and-day difference. Great job by our coaches, great job by our seniors, to get that done. I thought the crowd was fantastic Saturday night, and really provided a lot of kind of spark for our guys -- even at some of the moments that we were not there. What they were bringing on third down and in overtime was really great, and I'm glad we were able to reward them with the win."

So what made the difference in the energy levels? - "I don't know. If I knew I'd be traveling around the country answering that question for a lot of teams that sometimes don't come out with the same energy from week to week to week. We work hard on it. We talk to it, and try to capture it when we have it and when we don't have it try to build it back up. But that's the challenge of coaching, and to have your seniors help you with that. Hopefully we can find that same energy level and bring it at Arizona on Saturday night."

On if the team is healthier in terms of the flu and colds going away - "Yeah, we were healthy. I thought Jake obviously was. Hopefully we can get some of these other guys back, too. Speaking on the health issue, hopefully we'll get Devin Aguilar back, and get Kohler and Jorhi back."

On if anyone is closer than the other when it comes to returning - "I don't know yet, until I get them on the field and see them run around a little bit."

On being able to move Locker out of the pocket Saturday - "Well, yeah, I thought Jake did a good job of using his legs the other night. But we just try to take advantage of whatever's there. They blitzed us in that last instance, and he made a heck of a throw. We just try to be as multiple as we can."

On what worries you about Arizona's defense - "The two ends. They're monsters (chuckles). These guys, they are the whole game to me, in my opinion. Our ability to block them is going to determine, in my opinion, is going to have a signficant factor in the outcome of this ball game."

On if Jamora would step in if Crichton couldn't go - "Yeah, Jamora would step in and play."

On Cameron Elisara playing a lot - "Yeah, did a nice job. One of his better ball games. We just kept watching him, he played well."


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/18/2010
1:15 PM

Steve Sarkisian Monday Press Conference Notes

He said that, just like any other game, the team has to 'get back on the horse' and get ready for a very good Arizona team. He praised the team's resilience, especially at the end of the Oregon State game, and if he could use one word to describe his team right now, halfway through the season, it would be resilient. He also said that it was the best effort of the year for the defense, especially how they were able to bounce back and lock in after OSU scored 28 straight. "That's a credit to the seniors for getting it done."

Conversely, he said that he didn't panic after scoring 21 straight to start the OSU game and they had a lull, saying that sometimes you can relax and make it hard on yourself, with penalties, for example. He cited the example Saturday of USC scoring 42 in the first half, and three in the second half. He added that they know winning in the Pac-10 is really hard and every team is good.

Sark was asked what difference it would make if Arizona has to use Matt Scott instead of Nick Foles, he said they would have to be aware of more zone read because Scott is more of a runner than Foles, but they still do what they do. They will hand the ball off to Grigsby and Antolin and throw the ball to Criner.

He was asked about the changes to the OL for the UA game. Dan Kanczugowski is now the No. 2 LT behind Senio Kelemete; Ryan Tolar is back as UW's No. 1 LG; Greg Christine remains at center; Colin Porter will make his second-straight start at RG, backed up by Nick Wood, who has been moved from his spot at LG; and Drew Schaefer will make his second-straight start at RT after being moved from center. Sark said that they are trying to give guys the best opportunity to do well, and they need bigger athletes, especially at guard. He also praised Christine for his smarts and ability to quarterback the line.

Erik Kohler's (mono) status is still uncertain, as is Devin Aguilar (hip flexor) and Johri Fogerson (hip flexor). Sark said that they will have to practice in order to travel, and he doesn't know who is closest to making it back in a game. Talia Crichton (knee) had an MRI, and Sark said he'd know the extent of what the MRI revealed later tonight.

He added that if Crichton couldn't go, frosh DE Hauoli Jamora would start in his place. He praised Crichton for his performance Saturday, saying that he just exudes effort, and while he may not be the most talented player out there, he gives it everything he's got. "He plays the game the way you would want it to be played."

Sark was asked about the unusual pattern of UW winning and losing games. They've gone LWLWLW. He said they've analyzed it to see if there's something to the pattern, and he thinks some of it has to do with putting pressure on themselves to start a winning streak. They have to just focus one game at a time, one snap at a time, no matter who they are playing or where they are playing. "Hopefully we can break that trend this week."

He was asked again about the two-point play, and he said he saw Riley do the same thing in the Sun Bowl, so that's what made him think he would do the same thing Saturday night. On the pass interference call on Desmond Trufant that could have ended the game, Sark said that it 'was a good play by Tru'. He added that he'd never been in a game where the team went to celebrate but the game wasn't over, saying that it was good, because getting a second chance meant you could improve on the things you didn't like about the first one.

Sark was asked about the bounce-back of Jermaine Kearse, who had a school-record four touchdowns against the Beavers, and Sark said that he wasn't as concerned about Jermaine and that they were going to go right back to him no matter what.

He was asked about Chris Polk and how he might get up more for games against teams that have marquee backs - like OSU and Jacquizz Rodgers - and Sark said that he's probably been their most consistent performer on offense and he's been producing no matter what the circumstances are. "He just practices hard, locks in and goes." Sark added that he feels Polk has really matured in all phases of his life, and that's really helped him become a better player.

Arizona has the best kickoff unit in the Pac-10, and Sark said that they did OK Saturday night, but gave up a couple lanes, and that's all it takes. They have to fit their lanes better, and they'll keep working at it.

Sark was asked about defensive standouts, and Sark mentioned Mason Foster, Nate Williams, Victor Aiyewa and Alameda Ta'amu. With regard to Ta'amu specifically, Sark said he loves it when the DT plays like he did Saturday night, because he really controls everything in the middle.

On using man coverage, Sark said they are trying to do that more with Trufant and Richardson, which allows them to do other things closer to the line of scrimmage.

He was asked about the energy level from the ASU game to the OSU game, and Sark said it was 'night and day'. He added that the crowd really added a spark for the team, and they were tremendous all game long.

On the Arizona game, and specifically their defense, Sark said that handling their two DE's - Elmore and Reed - will be a significant factor in the game. "They are the whole game to me," he said.


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/18/2010
1:05 PM

Arizona's official release for UW game

Below is a link to Arizona's weekly notes, prepared by their Sports Information Department. Here you can find the depth chart for the Washington game, updated stats, roster and anything else you need to know about the Huskies.

Arizona's official weekly release - Washington


Posted by Chris Fetters
10/18/2010
10:35 AM

UW official release for Arizona game

Below is a link to Washington's weekly notes, prepared by their Sports Information Department. Here you can find the depth chart for the Arizona game, updated stats, roster and anything else you need to know about the 'Cats.

UW's official weekly release - Arizona


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